Are we there yet? Five summer festivals to put on your calendar

It’s crunch time. Final papers, projects, and presentations are in sight, and the homestretch is here. What do you need to help you get through this stressful time? A light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s an eclectic preview of the summer’s promising show that you shouldn’t miss.

B.O.M.B. Fest
May 28-29th
Comcast Theatre
Hartford,CT

The 3rd annual Bring Our Music Back Festival is first up this summer. Their mission is to give up and coming, aspiring artists a venue for exposure. It’s all about access and keeping music available and affordable. However, it’s not your typical festival.
“B.O.M.B Fest a different experience,” said senior Darcy Canter who has attended the event in the past. “It’s more contained, more regulated, and there’s no camping.” Another change coming to the festival this year is a change in venue; it was originally scheduled to take place at Western Connecticut State University, but due to growth since it started in 2009, they’re taking it to the Comcast Theatre.
“The line-up is too good not to go. It appeals to anyone,” Canter said. Where else will you find Weezer, Snoop Dogg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, George Clinton, and RJD2 together with a ton of local bands?
If that wasn’t reason enough to go, a percentage of all the show’s proceeds go to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Starscape
June 4th
Fort Armistead Park
Baltimore, MD

“Starscape is like a big bang. It’s one night, jam packed,” Canter said. The festival is in its thirteenth year, and if you’re willing to make the drive, it’s sure to be an event that will knock your socks off over the course of sixteen hours.
There are five stages including the main stage, Dance Tent, Dub Nation Beach Stage, Steez Promo Bass Arena, and the Fort Stage.
The event will be featuring many groups and performers including Bassnectar, Lotus, Datsik, Skrillex, Zeds Dead, Subvert, and Infected Mushroom.
“It’s in a beautiful location at an amazing time of the year. There’s a dock area, and you get to see the sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay in the morning, before the mass exodus when you leave.”
Although more costly, purchasing the VIP ticket is worth it, and includes a full open bar, a balcony view of the Nudashank Art Walk and Fort Stage, a seating area with couches, tables, and     chairs, and private restroom facilities. With a festival that’s so well-attended and so compact, you’ll want these additional amenities.

Camp Bisco
July 7-9th
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

If you’re willing to put up with some grime and potentially bad weather, the crowd, experience, and music at this three-day-long festival are definitely worthwhile.
“Camp Bisco always has a solid line-up, and it’s known for people being really ridiculous and out of their minds,” Canter said.
The festival’s name sake, The Disco Biscuits, is a Philadelphia-based group that bridges genres of jam band and electronic music. Joining them on the line-up will be Rusko, Lettuce, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and Pretty Lights among a slew of other acts.
“Last year’s event was better, but it’s grimy. I was knee-deep in mud around the stage tent,” Canter said. “They rearranged it since to keep this from happening, but it’s still a mess from mud and from the people.” If you’re looking for a traditional summer festival, look not further.
Pre-Sale and Early Bird tickets have already sold out, so act fast if you plan on going!
Camp Bisco’s main objective is to provide a good environment: “Most importantly, have fun, be nice to others, have a little patience, drink enough water and give the gift of laughter to the people around you during Camp Bisco. Watch out for your neighbors, make friends, and have an awesome time.” Grab your camping gear and head to Bisco.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 21-24th
Seaside Park
Bridgeport,CT

As the name of the venue suggests, Gathering of the Vibes is located on the shore of the Long Island Sound at one of the area’s major parks. The area becomes a campground, and upon arrival attendees are ushered to wooded areas, the shore, and fields to set up their sites. Tickets are available for one day or the weekend, and camping passes are sold separately.
“It’s a hippie fest – made by hippies for hippies. Like most festivals, it’s like an idealistic community,” Canter said.
The promoters of the festival encourage attendees to pack lightly to maximize space as well as “Think reusable before you buy disposable!” Throughout most of the festival’s orchestration, there is a theme of environmental consciousness.
Gathering of the Vibes is centered around Jerry Garcia’s birthday and draws all sorts of people. “It has one of the most diverse crowds of the festivals I’ve been to,” said Gwen Walsh, summer festival-goer. “It appeals to a wide range of musical tastes, and that makes it more interesting. The people watching is great, and you makes all sorts of friends. There are young and old.”
As the festival has grown over the years, it has only improved. Food and craft vendors abound, and there is also a separate area for families. The line-up includes some major names, including Further, Elvis Costello, Jane’s Addiction, and moe.

Liberate
August 18-21st
845 Poor Farm Rd
Sheldon,VT

So, after you’ve visited all of these festivals and raged with the best of them, you’re going to need a little rest and relaxation. For the end of your summer spree of great times, check out this laid-back festival all about wellness.
“It’s a yoga fest, so it’s filled with the nicest people ever. There’s a really positive energy. It’s on privately owned land in Vermont, which makes it awesome,” Canter said. “It’s all about healing. You walk away asking, ‘Why can’t the world be like this?’”
Their upcoming line-up includes LYNX, Conspirator (comprised of two members of the Disco Biscuits), Rubblebucket, and performance group, The Human Canvas (THC). Liberate will help you ease into the end of the season, after you’ve settling with thousands of fans at other venues.
“It’s small and cute,” Walsh said. “The setting is intimate, which is pretty much the opposite of most festivals.”
Liberate holds to its commitment to wellbeing with its eco-conscious vibe. They have sustainable, local Vermont cuisine and healing arts available. It’s all about being happy, healthy, and free.

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About Ashley Klann

Clark masters student. Local reporter. Photographer. View all posts by Ashley Klann

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